Your most and least expensive basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JimmyM, Jun 4, 2021.

  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I don't discriminate. I love a great feeling and sounding bass that's a little on the expensive side, but I also love finding a really good bass that's inexpensive. Had quite a few of both over the years, although I never spent truly huge money. The most I ever spent for a bass was $1500 new for this one on the right:

    GF basses.jpg

    These were made by the Guitar Factory in Orlando, and they had more deluxe versions of these basses but I went no frills and saved some money. Well, not really no-frills. They both have Kahler bridges and the 4 has a whammy bar and Sperzel locking tuners. Both have EMG active PJ's and I updated the pres with BQC's a few years ago.

    The 4 was my main bass from 1997-2001, but as much as I tried to fight the passive Fender thing back then, I just couldn't beat it tonally so I went back to them. I kept it because there are certain cool things I like to do with the whammy bar on occasion and because it plays so beautifully. But it's rare I use it on a gig anymore.

    I've bought cheaper basses than my current cheapest, but at $190, my 2009 Danelectro Longhorn has been a real keeper:

    Dano BA112v2.jpg
    Originally priced at $400, two of these basses sat in my local Sam Ash for a year. Played them every time I went there and this one was clearly my favorite of the two. One day they were marked down, and I bought it, and the repair guy there was nice enough to drill a hole in the horn for a Straplok, which remains the only mod I've done to it.

    This version is known for being the cheapest built of the reissues, and I thought for sure I'd have to replace the saggy bridge and cheapest of the cheap Kluson knock-off guitar tuners. But it has very low action, stays in tune like a rock, the bridge still sags but it hasn't gotten any worse over the years, is much more versatile than you'd think, sounds amazing with both flats and rounds, and is super light. And it's mighty purdy in a bizarre way. I've done many plane trips with it as checked luggage in a padded gig bag and SKB Roto case, and it never let me down.

    So let's just point out that I'm not fishing for financial information from you all, nor am I interested in starting a peepee sizing match. You don't have to disclose anything financial if you don't want. I just am interested if there's others like me who can see the beauty and usefulness in both cheap and not-as-cheap basses. Bonus points will be awarded, however, if you have a bass you paid over $10,000 for and one you paid less than $100 :D
  2. woodyng2

    woodyng2 Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2015
    Oregon Coast
    One of the best sounding basses I’ve owned was a pink yamaha fretless i paid $120 for. (I did have a used Lollar pbass pickup installed in it,so that brought the price up $50.)
    I also had a Danelectro Hodad 3-pickup bass that i really loved.
    Most expensive are probably my Rickenbacker 4004 models and a Veillette-Citron, although the most I’ve ever paid directly for any bass was $2k.
    5B5EAAA3-294B-4F0D-80B6-CB32C2D262B3.jpeg 3CC027C4-5853-43CA-BA86-CAE622FBE882.jpeg BF3798A1-A3C6-4ACA-9985-E664B75A3F40.jpeg FB27996A-1F69-433E-ABAE-7F58DBE808B2.jpeg
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  3. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Cheapest: A Warmoth Jazz I put together a couple years ago. All told it’s somewhere in the $1,500 range for all of the parts and then my labor to assemble and set it up.

    Most expensive: A Dingwall Super J that I custom ordered in November of 2019 and just received a couple days ago. I’ve been posting about it all over TB, so apologies to those that are sick of it already. After tax the final sale price as spec’d was $5,317.83.
    Dost, villegastx, exidor and 20 others like this.
  4. Dynacord


    Jan 1, 2005
    Least expensive is a Bulgarian Orfeusz bass that I paid about $80 for - actually a really cool sounding bass which I've recorded with (runner up would be Danelectro Longhorn "Dead On '58" reissue which is terrific IMO). Most valuable is probably '64 Thunderbird (though I've paid more for other basses).
  5. 2112

    2112 Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2005
    My cheapest bass also happens to be my most treasured bass. About $300 around 20 years ago, boughten for me by my dear friend Dan (RIP) when I was nearly on-foot. I will never, ever part with this bass for any reason.

    Ged reddy for a red Geddy... this one was a few dollars more than my #1 above.
    nixdad, ratdoc, eccles77 and 44 others like this.
  6. donahue

    donahue Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2015
    My cheapest is a Dean Metalman V paid about $100. It's the model with the one soapbar in the MM spot. It's my most comfortable bass to play. With the tapered body it's just so damn comfortable. Light weight too.

    My most expensive is a Roscoe SKB3006. I didn't buy it new which was probably around 3k but I traded a 2k-ish Ric for it. It's everything you would hope a 6 string boutique bass to be.

    But that's my problem. I can find the good in almost any bass. That's probably why I'll never be able to own just one. I fight myself about that all the time.
  7. 58kites

    58kites Save a life....adopt a Pitbull

    Oct 21, 2014
    Austin Texas
    I bought a number of basses that cost me $100 or less:

    USA made 1992 Peavey Fury for $40
    USA made 1990 Peavey Fury for $60
    USA Made 1992 Peavey Foundation for $75
    USA made 1984 Peavey Foundation S for $75
    USA made 1997 Peavey G bass (graphite neck, active bass) for $100

    My most expensive is my EBMM USA SUB StingRay Bass for $608
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2021
  8. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    Least Expensive:

    Lakland 55-02.jpg

    Lakland 55-02 I picked up a few years back. Really solid bass that I use in any situation.

    Most Expensive:

    Alembic Europa 5 String.jpg

    Alembic Europa 5 string w/ Series I electronics I ordered in 2003. The replacement value is 4 to 5 times what I paid for it. Still my dream bass after all of these years.

    B-Mac, BCRich100, Gaolee and 20 others like this.
  9. twinjet

    twinjet Powered by GE90s; fueled with coffee. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    Current cheapest: $300

    Current most expensive: $800 in parts, $200 in labor.
  10. My high $$$ instrument is this Skjold 5 string Skjoldslayer I picked up used for a good price ($3.5k) last year. If I had ordered one custom it wouldn’t have been much different from this one.


    My least expensive is this Squier Pro Tone series P-5 that I got for free as part of an endorsement deal back in ‘96.

  11. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    The most expensive bass I ever bought was a Stephen Sukop 4 string.

    My least expensive is an early '60s Silvertone Model 1444 by Danelectro that I found at a yard sale for $25 with the case.

    The Sukop is long gone but I still use the Silvertone.

    Now my most expensive bass is a Fender Mustang LE PJ.
  12. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2021
  13. I picked both these up at pawnshops in the last few years.

    '78 Fender Natural P-Bass ($400, which makes it my most expensive)

    '74 Fender Sunburst Jazz Bass ($59.95, which makes it my least expensive)
  14. CTBassGuy

    CTBassGuy Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2018
    Danbury, CT
    Most expensive: White 90 Pedulla Buzz $1,550

    Least Expensive: Midnight Blue 2000 MIM Fender P, $97 (including gas and tolls) ($300 with all the upgrades)

    (Picture includes my 2nd and 3rd most expensive too) IMG_2975-small.jpg
  15. LadyLoveStingRay5


    Jul 17, 2004
    I sure would like to know the pawn shops that you frequent .
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  16. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    Most expensive was my DP custom, I think my 5er. Around $1850ish.

    My cheapest is my trusty USA peavey fury I bought for $60. I've put a bit of money into it, but wasn't necessary.
  17. jonnybass1


    Dec 9, 2011
    Brampton, On
    2AA5F80F-8290-4534-B3C5-D61BB909E054.jpeg 3F02C239-F761-4408-9712-5CB53D5F477D.jpeg
    Squier Jag $180 in 2011

    Most Expensive
    Warwick Corvette Short scale $1000 in 2008
  18. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    175E7EA4-C445-4E8C-B130-78D7C5603710.jpeg 3C22F285-A0FC-4CA5-B384-82A6BBFA26CB.jpeg ‘98 Ibanez ATK305. Bought brand new. $300 cash and traded my first bass an Aria Pro II my parents bought when I first started playin in ‘94. This Ibanez started off black with the pickguard. I had it painted House Of Colors auto paint by a local shop in ‘03-‘04. Still have it but she’s in retirement mode.

    Fodera Yin Yang Standard 5. 1 of 10 made in ‘17-18 after they discontinued it as a normal production model. Paid just north of $6k. It’s like it was made for my body and hands. After a pickup swap, it’s exactly what I needed.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    Least expensive: Used Squier Affinity J ($70 bought in 2020)
    Most expensive: Brand New Fender Am. Std. J ($1.200ish bought in 2006)

    I don't own the Fender mentioned above anymore, but I got other ones bought used for sub $900.
  20. LadyLoveStingRay5


    Jul 17, 2004
    I’ve owned guitars and basses that cost around $3700 new including Fender, MTD, Gibson , Taylor, and Ernie Ball Musicman.

    My least expensive now is a Squier Classic Vibe 60’s Pbass. Bought used $230. My Sire V3-5 new priced around $350 IIRC.

    Carvin SB5000 $750 used.

    Fender USA Geddy Lee new 10 months ago $ 1400.

    The only one I could see myself ever parting with is maybe the Sire.

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